What We’ve Learned from Lockdown 2

To accept “doing nothing” when the greatest contribution most people can make is staying home, because “life depends on withdrawing from life” (David Remnick, “Life at the Epicenter,” New Yorker 4/13/20, 11.)

To lose track of time, gazing at green hillsides, dappled shade, the first blue break in marbled clouds

To appreciate the quote: “Introverts, you’ve been training for this your whole life; now’s your time to shine.”

To find the long-lost joys of phone calls and letter writing, create new forms of connection such as zoom

To wear old, out-of-fashion, mismatched clothes, ‘cuz who’ll see, who cares?

To adapt recipes, as even great New York chefs are doing, to whatever we’ve got in the pantry

To see—because now we have time—the silvery undersides of leaves, and understand maybe what Psalm 96 meant by “the trees of the wood will shout for joy.”

To pronounce “epidemiologist”

To fail. Personally, we may be thrust into arenas where we don’t excel as we might at a job or the arena of our own choosing. Nationally, the US has bungled the crisis in significant ways, lagging far behind countries like South Korea in testing. The crisis may teach us anew that from death springs life.

To rejoice in every load of groceries, an ongoing surprise to see what’s stocked and what’s not.

To discover hidden streets and by-ways which we’ve sailed past a hundred times in a car, but now have the chance to explore on foot

To cherish “the sound of seven,” the time when in many cities the clapping, accordions, signing, hooting, whistles and bells break forth from windows, porches and balconies to honor the courage of the front line professionals,  As the psalmist said, “Blessed the people who know the joyful shout.” (89:16)

To keep up those gratitude journals, lifting morale and as W.S. Merwin wrote in the poem “Thanks,”

we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

See “Everyday Resurrections” by Kathy Coffey in April issue of St. Anthony Messenger: https://blog.franciscanmedia.org/franciscan-spirit/everyday-resurrections-a-meditation-on-easter

One response to “What We’ve Learned from Lockdown 2

  1. Loved the column. Especially : “Introverts, you’ve been training for this your whole life; now’s your time to shine.”

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